OTR Interviews

Unemployed? Underemployed? CEOs give advice to job-seekers

'Open for Business': Is college still relevant? How should job-seekers stand out in their interviews? Top CEOs give their insight


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 28, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: You just heard from hard working and educated under employed people. Turn to the business owners. What advice do they have for people looking for jobs? Our business panel joins us again. Steve, any advice for people looking for jobs?

STEVE FORBES, CHAIRMAN AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, FORBES MEDIA: It's a lot of scat work. When you go for interview, always put yourself in the place of the person who is talking to you. Get in there. Why would they want to hire you? You have to know something about the company. Demonstrate that you are bringing something to the table even if you don't have vast experience.

That you have done the homework for it and make clear what are you going to bring with you that distinguishes you from the 500 other people who want that position, and then take a job and get started even if it isn't what you want. It's amazing what these things can lead to. Don't sit on the sidelines. Try to get something.

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MICHELLE PELUSO, CEO, GILT: I think Steve's point is really important. You know, it's a competitive market and, you know, we're actually experimenting with some stuff where you do a video pre-screen interview where you send us a couple minute videotape of why you want to be a Gilt and do whatever you want, say whatever you talk. Talk whatever you want.

Why do you want to be at Gilt as a pre-screen for us, which is kind of interesting? You get a sense of have they done their homework? Do you understand what we do? Have they really read the job description? Do they have experience that's relevant in the passion? That's so important to make sure that when you come to the table that you understand what you can tribute.

SUSTEREN: I loved college but very expensive and I'm wondering now in light job market is college still relevant?

ANTHONY MONGELUZO, PRESIDENT, PRO-COMPUTER SERVICE: I'm going to say no, it's not relevant. Being in the technical industry what I look for is people who are blues produce. If one of my clients has a server down and they put their college degree and rub it against that server, it's not going to help them. It's their ability to think and perform and what value are they going to bring

Let's be honest, when you get out of college, yes, have you went through some classes and done some things, but it's on-the-job training and on-the- job experience. When you are in that situation that's when the cream rises to the top.

SUSTEREN: College?

NICK BALLETTA, CEO, TALKPOINT: Still relevant but I think it's less relevant. I think maybe -- I have four kids and they are not in college yet. I speak from the heart here.

SUSTEREN: Maybe you don't want to pay for it?

BALLETTA: Preschool. So I think if you are going to go to a real top college, the Harvards, the Prince of the word it's worth it state school. You still need that check in the book. You still need a degree. Differentiation from earnings perspective, people who have college degrees versus don't. But it's the first time in my life that I'm getting sceptic call when I see we have a trillion dollars' worth of outstanding student loans 40 percent almost in default now. That's the next big bailout.

SUSTEREN: Tuitions are huge and people can't get jobs.

FORBES: Parents are finally asking, what are we getting for the sacrifice we are making? And that's why more and more companies are doing their own testing. They don't trust their degree anymore and grade scores anymore. They do their own testing. Google is famous for it do you have skills that they want?


FORBES: They don't trust the degree. That's amazing.

PELUSO: It's not is college worth it or not. The statistics bear that out. What do you make of your college experience? We'd love to see more stem education. We love candidates come in who have taken math and science and have some technical and I think that's the concern I have when I think about American education in general.

Are we losing that core? Because I think if you, you know, there is different ways to go through college. We all know that I think in today's economy those skills are more and more irrelevant. We have to take that sure our young people are value those and excited about those and taught in practical ways.

BALLETTA: We have a lot of foreign students now who don't stay here any longer. They use the engineering guys to come and stay.

PELUSO: Absolutely.

SUSTEREN: Isn't it part of the immigration situation they can't stay here. A lot of ways they won't stay here.

BALLETTA: Very hard --

PELUSO: -- absolutely. Having run companies and running big teams of big engineers, excited about home markets. A bunch of them more interesting, more attractive china is more interesting and attractive than it was when you first came here. Part of it is about making sure we stay immigration reform and part of it making sure we stay competitive in the job market.

SUSTEREN: The second problems people who maybe have a job for 15 or 20 years. They find themselves 40 years old and now don't have a job. That's a horrible tragedy.

FORBES: Well, and I think this is where I think young people have an advantage. They assume they are going to go through a number of jobs. Perhaps even careers before they retire. And one of the things I think that's going to help save us, one is the biggest educator is the employer. When you go there, you learn something new very quickly.

The other thing is online. You can now get -- you don't have to go to even college anymore. You can start to get new skills or refine skills that you might have and do something. So, I don't think it's going to be -- the key thing is get vibrant economy. People find ways to give people the skills they need.

SUSTEREN: Yes. I always feel bad though for the people, who you know, they have lost jobs. Terrible about that, but then they accept a job where they are under employed. They are really not meeting their skills. It's the self-esteem. You don't feel good when you have got to go out and just accept that job.

BALLETTA: Well, my guidance to folks that are older that find themselves unemployed is to sharpen up the technology skills and make sure they're up to speed, most are now a days. Make sure you work the social network as best you can don't be afraid to consult, it gets you back in the game. Maybe you are not earning the same fees that you would have earned in a full-time job, but you are still out in the workplace, still sharping up your skills and working your social network physical versus virtual.

You feel better about yourself because you are getting up every day. Incubators here in New York City now where people can go and for $200 a month you can rent the virtual chair and go there and work. Great places to go and mingle and network. Run into guys in skinny jeans carrying macs.

MONGELUZO: Don't mess with the IT guys.

BALLETTA: But, at the end of the day, it's a great place to go.

SUSTEREN: Gentlemen, and madam, thank you very much. Thank you for our entire business panel.